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The Algoa WSS consists of an intricate infrastructure system of dams, pipelines and canals linking the surface water resources of the Kouga and Kromme rivers and some small local surface water sources to the west, the Orange River via the Fish and Sundays rivers to the north, groundwater resources and minimal water re-use. The system supplies water to a population of 1.1 million and to many industries in NMBM, several smaller towns and resorts as well as water for irrigation to the Gamtoos Irrigation Board and other irrigators. The System is cooperatively managed by DWS, NMBM and the Gamtoos Irrigation Board.


Within an urban context, the most important base drivers of water demand are population growth and economic activity. Population growth rates in the area declined between 1972 and 2001 due to HIV/Aids, the out-migration of working age residents and a decline in fertility rates, whereas the economic growth from 1996 to 2006 was higher than the national average, but lower than that of other South African metropolitan areas. A low economic growth rate of 4% was experienced during this period. A high economic growth rate of 4.5% was experienced for the period 2006 to 2010 and 6% growth for the remainder of the period. The water requirements growth rate is lower than the economic growth rate, but higher than the population growth rate.

The anticipated population and economic growth rates, up to 2030, as well as the resultant average growth in water requirement are shown in the table below.

Water requirement
Average growth in water
demand (%)
 Population growth rate
(% per annum)
Economic growth rate
(% per annum)
  2006 - 2030 2006-2011 2011-2016 2016-2030 2006-2010 2010-2030
High 3.09 1.12 1.38 1.74 4.5 6
Low 1.43 0.16 0.36 0.70 4 4

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